Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Feb 4, 2009 06:15 PM

Top Chef: Le Bernardin - Spoilers

OK, i figured i'd get things started.

Leah. Must. Go.

Who just GIVES UP during a challenge? With Eric Ripert watching, no less!

She's pathetic.

I'm going to predict the Elimination Challenge, since they're tasting 6 dishes. Each of them is going to have to try to replicate one of the dishes they taste...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Was starting to like Jamie after the last episode and she has to go and act like a heard headed know it all brat during the tasting at the Bernadin.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Evilbanana11

      Jamie got the Black Bass, was that the dish that she didn't care for?

    2. GHG, what took you so long, I was waiting for you this week!

      Agreed, Leah must go.

      You know, Hosea is so up and down.

      The elimination is great, remake Ripert's dishes after having tasted it. Fantastically wicked, especially since they were just tasting and enjoying. You would think someone whould have seen this coming. And now I am dying to go eat at Le Bernardin.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Phaedrus

        sorry i made you wait, Phaedrus. i've been sick all week and it's got me moving a little slowly ;)

        i *can't believe* none of them saw this challenge coming! i thought it was so obvious.

        BTW, my dad actually just mentioned recently that he wants to take me to Le Bernardin (mom's fatally allergic to seafood). don't hate me!

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          No worries. :)

          Leah almost sent out another raw fish dish.

          1. re: Phaedrus

            i'm going to predict that unfortunately, Leah's not going home. Jamie is...because we have yet to see the horrified reactions to someone's dish that they've been airing in the promos.

            ETA: and there it is :)

            TY seems to be gunning for Jamie, but Eric isn't taking the bait. hmmm...

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              i really hope hosea is going to be sent home- he works at a seafood resto! bad celery or bad fish... it looks like it's between jamie and hosea. i'm hoping it's hosea although i'd like to see leah go home...

              1. re: liveloveat34

                i don't know - Leah's childish behavior in the QF may come back to bite her.

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Carla, you go girl!!!

                Stefan wins again. Holy crap, I think Linda and all the ladies here would love to have won the challenge to follow Ripert around.

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              The food there is really awesome. a fish-lover's dream come true!

              Black Tie Scallops are my favorite, but then almost anything "scallop" is my favorite.

              I was sorry it was Jamie who got the gate and not Leah. Leah just rubs me wrong. I have always disliked whiners.

              1. re: ChefJune

                I am *so* glad they didn't have any scallop dishes in the tasting! You just know Jamie would have gotten that knife.

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Jamie's interview on the Bravo website is up, and she said that they all knew that that's what the challenge was going to be when they were invited to lunch, and that some of them were taking notes under the table.

            3. I *knew* it was the replication of dishes the minute I heard they were invited to dine with Chefs Colicchio and Ripert!

              Hated, hated, HATED Jamie during the tasting - this food is boring?

              And it SERIOUSLY looks like Carla may have this one!

              9 Replies
              1. re: LindaWhit

                DAMN! Stefan wins with the easiest dish out there? That just sucks. Carla should have had that one nailed.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  yeah, i was rooting for Carla too.

                  and did Jamie REALLY just have the gall to say at JT that the dish she made wasn't her favorite during the tasting? she needs to be slapped.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Uh, stand in line.

                    Jaime is really a brat on a par with Leah. After Stephanie's win last season, it doesn't look like there will be a crowning of another female Top Chef.

                    1. re: Phaedrus

                      and slapped she was. see ya!

                      i wish Jamie & Leah had *both* been sent home.

                      so, next week's judges include Jacques Pepin and Wylie Dufresne? interesting combo. doesn't look like it's going to be "happy judging!"

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I am completely and totally stunned. After quitting during QF, and just not getting what the sauce was - Leah wasn't sent home?

                        And both Pepin and Dufresne? That'll be an interesting JT!

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          What a tease for the next show. Very interesting indeed. Pepin and Dufresne? Shut up!!!

                          I'm with you on Leah and Jamie, GHG.

                          This is kind of a take off on what I had put in the thread about changes we want to see in TC. I had proposed putting them through another kind of cuisine and then making them cook in that style. This is close enough for me to think that this should be a large part of future shows.

                          And I would never want to eat in Hosea's seafood restaurant, ever. What an insult to seafood restaurant chefs.

                          And it looks like the crowning victory tour of Stefan continues.

                          Hey, Ripert made like he didn't know Hosea was a seafood chef, but Hosea told him that he does seafood in the QF. WTF?

                          1. re: Phaedrus

                            As regards your last point, I think Ripert was responding to the difference between "I cook a lot of seafood" which sounds kind of like what Hosea said versus "he's the chef at a seafood restaurant" which would imply a much higher level of skill and far more experience.

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    I agree. I really liked Jamie throughout the show, but she came across as a pompous ass saying she didn't like the food and thought it was boring. She was trying to be "too cool" in my opinion.

                    Personally I worship at the alter of Eric Ripert so I'm a little swayed one way. But I should admit that my Mom and brother ate at Le Bernardin a few years ago and said they weren't nearly as impressed as everyone else I know. I think this has more to do with their expectations and possibly an off night then anything else.

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      See, that didn't bother me, because while I like and respect Eric Ripert a lot, that's just not the kind of food that I find particularly interesting or memorable, and I totally understand why Jamie didn't find it inspiring.

                  3. HOLY schnikeys! Stefan's prize is, hands-down, the BEST one they've every given for an EC.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Seriously the best prize! Damn, with Carla's classic French training I really wish she could have won that one.

                      Interesting - Tom asking Leah if she "wants to give up" and she responds that she wants to be in the Final 4. No WAY she should make it to the Final 4!

                      Oh - and I was really, really hoping that we wouldn't have to listen to Toby's particular brand of criticism. He seemed to be really OK during the early part of the show; but holy cripes, his attempts at throwing a couple of them under the bus - sheesh!

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        ok now i def think it's between leah and jamie. Leah should be sent home, not only did she quit on the QF, but she didn't even do a component on the dish which she was fully aware of- at least Jamie understood what the dish comprised of and what went wrong vs. just adding butter!

                        1. re: liveloveat34

                          Holy crap. Jamie goes before Leah. Wow. I will be VERY interested to read Chef Colicchio's blog tomorrow!

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Sometimes the blog is up later tonight. There's got to be a heck of a reason why Leah outlasted Jamie (was it Jamie or the judges who said her fish was good?)

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        ok i missed it- thought it was just a book
                        what did he get as his prize?

                        1. re: toncasmo

                          He gets to trail and work with Chef Ripert for a week at each of his 3 (?) restaurants, and I believe go with him to Aspen for the Food & Wine expo (although wouldn't he get that if he wins anyway?). No sure that was all of it though.

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            I heard "Pebble Beach" Food & Wine - they must do a bunch of these events.

                            1. re: pitu

                              Couldn't remember, exactly. Should have put in an (I think?) in there. :-)

                              1. re: pitu

                                I thought I heard "South Beach" F&W Festival. Yeah, there's a bunch.

                                1. re: TampaAurora

                                  I'm pretty sure it was Pebble Beach.

                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                    Must have been wishful thinking on my part, not that I have the budget to go if it was in Florida. I just found Gail mentioning Pebble Beach in her blog.

                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I agree. If I won that prize I probably would have passed out. But there is also a good possibility that I would have passed out the minute Ripert walked in the room :)

                          3. Are you serious?????? THis is just so wrong on so many levels!

                            37 Replies
                            1. re: smtucker

                              UGHHH- seriously??? are they keeping Leah justfor the drama? she doesnt even seem like she cares and she acts like a freshman in HS. Good for Stefan- I'm def rooting for him, Carla and Fabio for top 3...hosea and leah are always in the bottom, they should get sent home together!

                              1. re: liveloveat34

                                Well, based on previews, Fabio seems to have a MAJOR disadvantage with a bandaged hand next week!

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  i get the feeling they're purposely showing that to make us *think* he's at a disadvantage...but those editors are sneaky, and i suspect he'll pull it off, and that the judges will take his injury into consideration.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Yeah, that's true. Sneaky buggers.

                                    And Colicchio's blog is up at Bravo's site. Interesting that he says that 5 of the 6 dishes were "actually well done" and Jamie was the ONLY chef considered to be sent home. The celery was inedible.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      you beat me to it, i was just about to post that particular quote from his blog entry.

                                      oh well. i'm *clinging* to the hope that Leah gets the axe next week. actually, i think they should do a double-elim of Leah & Hosea, and just fast-forward to a final three with Carla, Stefan & Fabio.

                                      we all know who's gonna win anyway.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Well, interestingly, I just read Gail's blog, and she ends with:

                                        "New Orleans will really show the true colors of the remaining chefs. Nothing is as it seems. Nothing."

                                        Now THAT is cryptic - perhaps you-know-who doesn't win the whole shebang! Wouldn't that be a hoot if Carla yanks the rug right out from under the cocky bastard? LOL

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          As a southerner living in Tennessee, I definitely picked up on Carla's accent tonight as she was so embarassed about the sardines. So embarassed that her real accent from growing up in Nashville shown through beautifully.

                                          1. re: shallots

                                            Oh, she definitely went back to her roots with her accent - I noticed it as well! I think Chef Ripert got a kick out of her.

                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                            Carla is starting to show some fight. Has she had it in her this whole time and now will come out firing? I could see that being how this goes down...

                                            I don't know what true colors means. I hope we don't start seeing petty sniping and under-the-bus throwing; it's been nice to not have that this season.

                                            1. re: gastrotect

                                              Carla's had a hard time on team competitions, IIRC, trying to be peacemaker and getting stuck in train wrecks. She's finally getting a chance to do her thang.

                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                That was the first time I heard mention of Carla's classical french training. Is it just me? I think the editors have painted her to be a scrappy self taught caterer who is good at pastry.

                                                Do you think Ripert considered who he wanted to spend three weeks with in picking the winner? Or the QF results?

                                                1. re: yamalam

                                                  She has mentioned it once or twice before, but it was definitely a number of episodes in. First time might have been two or three weeks ago. I remember being surprised when she said it the first time. I would agree it was not something they have highlighted about her at all.

                                                  1. re: yamalam

                                                    I was surprised as well about the training. I thought she would have been a shoe-in considering she was able to discern the difference in sauces by tasting regardless of the labeling. C'mon! Someone who was able to recreate a dish based on purely taste, versus someone who's been making a similar dish since he was a boy.

                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                Thought this comment by TY was interesting in his Bravo blog (as it relates to Gail's comments re: nothing is as it seems."

                                                "If Stefan has a shortcoming it is that his food lacks imagination, but no one could doubt his credentials as a skilled technician."

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  I kind of take that comment from TY with a grain of salt. i think he is just re-iterating the stereotype of the German precision and technical excellence which most people assumes comes with a lack of creativity. Its the old Brits versus the rest of Europe syndrome.

                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                    But to me, Stefan's food hasn't really seemed all that exciting. It's all been just "there". I agree with others in this thread - if he had chosen a different dish and *really* knocked it out of the park, as Carla did, then I'd give him more kudos than I think he deserves.

                                                    However, I also haven't eaten at Le Bernardin, nor do I know how difficult the lobster dish is to make.

                                                    Yet again - we only know what we see. And it just seemed he took the easy way out.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      "If Stefan has a shortcoming it is that his food lacks imagination, but no one could doubt his credentials as a skilled technician."

                                                      Maybe following Chef Ripert around for 3 weeks will help him develop past this plateau

                                                      I think his internship is scheduled after my & Eric's wedding, so I'll do my best to guide Stefan along, just for you guys.

                                                      -The Future Mrs. Ripert

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        I agree--he's an excellent sous chef and can carry out orders, even when things go wrong but has he created anything? He and Jeff were yin and yang.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          he did create apparently amazing desserts in restaurant wars.

                                                          1. re: AMFM

                                                            Didn't he make panna cotta and cake? Apparently excellent but creative? He did wing it when the freezer didn't work and I give him a lot of credit for that.

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              chowser, i just looked up the recipes because i thought i recalled then being pretty impressive.

                                                              he did three:
                                                              - Ginger & Lemongrass Panna Cotta with Ginger Honey
                                                              - Mango Lollipops (w/mint & chocolate)
                                                              - Orange Chocolate Rice Parfait with Pineapple and Coconut.

                                                              looking at the recipes, i personally think the parfait was the most creative (according to the recipes it was also the most time-consuming). the lollipops were simple, but a charming idea. and though panna cotta isn't the most original thing anyone's ever done on this show, the flavors were unique.

                                                              i can't believe i'm defending Stefan, but he really has grown on me!

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                I stand corrected. I've stereotyped him into being a great technician, like Ariane, so must have simplified it in my mind. I'd need to try them first, at the risk of being like Jamie, prejudging, but mango, mint and chocolate? Orange, chocolate, pineapple and coconut? He's venturing into Jeff territory there (another stereotype;-) ).

                                                                Stefan has grown on me, too, and I think could easily pull this off. I think they've portrayed him as more arrogant than he really is (somewhere else in this quickly approaching 300 post thread). He is funny and self deprecating. It seems like the other chefs like him, Hosea aside, and even then they seem to get along. We'll never know if how many leading questions they've asked to get the right camera responses. I do like how he pulls together to help others and was impressed when he improvised with the freezer thing. But, there doesn't seem to be the competition of great chefs, like last time with Richard and Stephanie and I miss that.

                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                  I agree! Sometimes Stefan is a little bit of a sexist pig, but what other people are perceiving as arrogance I'm reading as a rather dry sense of humor: he's saying a lot of that with tongue in cheek or playing stuff up a bit for the camera.

                                                                  I'm still not sure of his cooking. I don't have a really good sense of what his personal style is underneath the classical European approach that he falls back on for challenges. I assume we'll see at the finale!

                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                    I have a horrible feeling in my gut - that Stefan is not going to make it to the finale!
                                                                    I don't know why..

                                                                    Maybe Gails cryptic "Everything is not as it seems" or whatever it was she said!

                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                      Me too. It'd be a shame if it Stefan didn't make it.

                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  "i can't believe i'm defending Stefan, but he really has grown on me!"

                                                                  Me too...LOL!

                                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                                    I'm sure either antibiotics or surgery could remove that from your body.

                                                        2. re: Phaedrus

                                                          Every one keeps referring to Stefan as German. Isn't he a Finn who has lived in Germany?

                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                            I'd bet that Stefan grew up in Germany because he speaks English with a German accent (I've worked with both multi-lingual Germans and Finns and their accents are easily distinguished)

                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                              Stefan's nationality is Finnish, but his last name is German, so he's ethnically German, plus he has lived in Germany. There are a fair number of ethnic Germans in Finland (I had a roommate who had a Finnish first name, a German last name was was actually Swedish by nationality! In other words, her family came to Sweden from Germany via Finland). Europe isn't that big and people move around; borders change; in many places nationality is not the same as ethnic/cultural identity. Sort of like the US, with all our "hyphenated Americans" who are born and raised here but are still close to the ethnic/cultural roots of their immigrant parents.

                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                But doesn't he identify himself as Finnish?

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  German, Finn...niether is a real barrel of laughs. And this is said with both liniages in the family tree.

                                                        3. re: LindaWhit

                                                          I just had an idea of what Gail might mean based on this week's promo.

                                                          WARNING: SPOILERS

                                                          Apparently, one of the other chefs will injure his or her hand. It's possible Stefan might lose in NOLA because he's disabled. Alternatively, I'm hoping Jamie will be brought back to take the injured chef's place.

                                                          1. re: a_and_w

                                                            No - because you actually see that is Fabio's hand that is injured...
                                                            Unless something happened to Stefan as well (?)

                                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                                              As Nelly said, you see that it's Fabio who's injured his hand. It was definitely him in the scene talking about not being able to prep or use appropriate knives, etc.

                                                              And if he cannot continue, I'd think that whoever was *last* told to PYKAG would be brought back - not Jamie.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                I simply used Stefan as an example -- it could just as easily be Fabio particularly if there's a substitution. Here's how such a scenario might work. Fabio injures his hand before the next challenge. Instead of simply allowing the final four to go forward by default, they allow Jamie to take his place. But you're both probably right that this is just wishful thinking...LOL!